We’re all painfully aware of the politically correct day and age in which we live (or are we…?). We don’t have mailmen, we have letter carriers. We must use the polite pronunciations of Uranus and harass (it’s Ur-uh-nuss and hare-as, duh) unless we want to raise eyebrows. Unfortunately, Nike might not be so in tune with these social stigmas.
While Nike obviously had their bottom line in mind, their attempt to capitalize on the follies and casual drinking of St. Patrick’s Day may have their revenue reeling. The release of a shoe donned the “Black and Tan” has the Irish community up in arms, as the history of that term is less than flattering.
As far as the alchemy of alcohol in the U.S. is concerned, a Black and Tan is simply a dark beer (such as Guinness) poured over pale ale (such as Bass), thus creating a layered effect in your pint glass – black on top, tan on the bottom. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a beverage commonly consumed in Ireland.
In Ireland, Black and Tans won’t have you feeling warm and fuzzy after you have a few. The Black and Tans were a paramilitary group that became infamous for atrocities committed against Irish civilians during the Irish War of Independence. The term “Black and Tan” is still an irreverent term in Ireland, and is not likely to lose its negative connotation any time soon.
Are we pushing the limits of political correctness to the point that we’re making mountains out of mole hills, or is there a real problem here?
What do you think? Should Nike apologize? Possibly rename the shoe?